A method for testing distributed amplifiers is presented; the multipath interference (MPI) is detected as a beat spectrum between the multipath signal and the direct signal using a binary frequency shifted keying (FSK) test signal. The lightwave source is composed of a DFB-LD that is directly modulated by a pulse stream passing through
an equalizer, and emits the FSK signal of the frequency deviation of about 430MHz at repetition rate of 80-100 kHz. The receiver consists of a photo-diode and an electrical spectrum analyzer (ESA). The base-band power spectrum peak appeared at the frequency of the FSK frequency deviation can be converted to amount of MPI using a calibration chart. The test method has improved the minimum detectable MPI as low as -70 dB, compared to that of -50 dB of the conventional test method. The detailed design and performance of the proposed method are discussed, including the MPI simulator for
calibration procedure, computer simulations for evaluating the error caused by the FSK repetition rate and the fiber length under test and experiments on singlemode fibers and distributed Raman amplifier.